Tehran Times | 5 December 2023
Tehran, Muscat discussing preferential trade agreement
TEHRAN – The head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) has said Tehran and Muscat are determined to increase the volume of trade relations and have started negotiations to sign a preferential trade agreement in the near future.
Making the remarks in an expert meeting on the preparation of the 20th Iran-Oman Joint Economic Committee meeting, Mehdi Zeyghami expressed hope that the holding of this meeting will be the basis for the growth and expansion of business relations between the two countries, the TPO portal reported.
Referring to his recent visit to Oman along with Industry, Mining and Trade Minister Abbas Aliabadi, the official noted that such business trips will lead to the development of economic relations and the achievement of the trade goals planned by the leaders of the two countries.
Aiming to expand economic ties, Iran and Oman signed four cooperation documents in various areas including energy, investment, and free zones during the official visit of Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said to Tehran in late May.
The document on the energy sector was signed by Iran’s Oil Minister Javad Oji and Omani Minister of Energy and Minerals Salim bin Nasser al-Aufi.
The two countries also signed three other documents to cooperate in the economic, investment, and free zones sectors.
Iranian Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Ehsan Khandouzi and Secretary of Iran’s Free Zones High Council Hojatollah Abdolmaleki signed the mentioned documents with the ministers of economy and commerce of Oman.
Meanwhile, in mid-July, the former head of the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) called for promoting joint investment between the private sectors of Iran and Oman in order to boost the trade exchanges between the two countries.
Hossein Selahvarzi made the remarks in a meeting with Omani Ambassador to Tehran Ibrahim bin Ahmed Almuaini.
During the meeting, Selahvarzi expressed the readiness of the private sectors of Iran and Oman for joint investments, as well as, using transit capacities of the two countries for re-exports if the necessary infrastructure is provided by the governments of the two countries.
Referring to the 40 percent growth of trade exchanges between the two countries in the previous year, the official said: “Although this positive trend is significant, the ICCIMA is trying to increase the volume of exchanges as much as possible.”
He pointed out that the Joint Economic Committee meeting of Iran and Oman will soon be held in Tehran, noting that the ICCIMA is ready to discuss ways of facilitating the trade between the private sectors of the two countries in the mentioned meeting.
Also, in early May, a Joint Iran-Oman Business Forum was held at the place of ICCIMA in a bid to boost trade exchange between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Sultanate of Oman.
The forum aimed at consolidating bilateral business relations, conducting strategic partnerships to augment the volume of investments and business activity, and accessing new economic fields.
Several B2B meetings were held during the forum between Omani and Iranian businesspeople. The meetings targeted striking business and investment deals. As many as 250 Iranian firms took part in the event.
Prior to the forum, ICCIMA former Head Gholam-Hossein Shafeie met with his Omani counterpart to discuss avenues of mutual cooperation between the two countries’ private sectors.
In this meeting, while emphasizing the need to remove trade obstacles, Shafeie said: “Attention should be paid to multilateral cooperation and joint investments so that the markets of the two countries can take advantage of each other’s business opportunities in any situation.”